Drag Racing

Earlier this year, former Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged the government to proceed with plans to construct drag racing circuits in each state. When Sabri was the prime minister in 2023, the project was revealed in the budget.

According to Bernama, RM20 million from the budget would be used to build drag racing circuits, giving young people the chance to participate in motorsports in a safe and regulated setting. As stated by Sabri, this will enable professionals in racing to educate young people and discover fresh talents in Malaysia.


The Funny Car is probably unique to the USA where drag racing is popular and a class called the Funny Car class was created for a certain type of drag-racing car. The cars appeared in the mid-1960s and because of their heavily modified bodies which made them look odd, they came to be called ‘Funny Cars’.

The class has continued to this day in events organised by the US National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and among the contenders is Toyota. The brand has been competing in Funny Car competition since 2012. Up till this 2021 season, Toyota has used a Camry and prior to that model, the Celica and Solara were run.

180 wins in 20 seasons
The 2021 season thus marks the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s official involvement with the NHRA and competitors in both Top Fuel and Funny Car classes. Over the 20 seasons. Drivers using Toyota cars have won 137 Top Fuel and 43 Funny Car races along with 6 Top Fuel and 3 Funny Car championships. For the 2022 NHRA season, Toyota will use a new racing car and will, for the first time, campaign the latest GR Supra.

This year, Toyota has been using a Camry-based racer which will be replaced for the 2022 NHRA season by a new racing car based on the GR Supra.

Support from TRD
Toyota has always chosen to enter racing cars that closely resemble production models and this GR Supra-based Funny Car is no exception. The new body for the GR Supra Funny Car marks the most significant styling characteristics of any previous Funny Car.

“After 10 years of fielding the Camry in NHRA Funny Car competition, it’s really exciting for us to be moving to the GR Supra and ultimately the next generation of Funny Cars for NHRA,” said Paul Doleshal, Group Manager of Motorsports for Toyota Motor North America.

“Our team at TRD (Toyota Racing Development), along with the design team at Calty (Toyota’s advanced studio in Los Angeles), worked hard to incorporate as many features as possible from the production GR Supra into the Funny Car that J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will drive in 2022.”

Safety enhancements
In addition to the augmented styling characteristics of the new GR Supra Funny Car, safety enhancements have also been made during the development of the new car. TRD worked closely with Toyota Champion Funny Car driver, J.R. Todd, on many of the safety enhancements during the nearly two-year development process.

These include giving the driver more visibility while sitting behind the wheel and adding more room around their helmets along with additional safety foam in the cockpit.

“It’s been a really unique experience getting to work with the engineers at TRD on the new GR Supra Funny Car,” said Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car driver J.R. Todd. “We all worked together on some of the issues we’ve faced for some time including visibility.”

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing to reproduce selected parts for AE86 sportscar of the 1980s

Over the past 7 years, Chevrolet has been a producing 69 specially developed Camaro racing cars at its factory. Known as COPO Camaros, these rare machines have crossed the auction block for charity, raising nearly US$2 million for a variety of important causes.

And if 552 units since 2012 is not rare enough, there will also be a 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition, bringing together the legacies of Chevrolet’s factory racing car and John Force, the 16-time NHRA (the US National Hot Rod Association) champion driver.

The distinctively styled, supercharged racing car, which can deliver low elapsed times on the drag strip, will be auctioned by Chevrolet in January with the proceeds going to DonorsChoose.org. It carries a unique “2020COPO-FORCE” identification plaque and is considered a unique build in the COPO Camaro range – not part of the annual production run of 69 COPO Camaro racing cars.

Chevrolet 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition

“This is a great-looking COPO Camaro, and I enjoyed helping design this car,” said John Force. “The COPO Camaro is already a formidable car, and hard to beat on the track. But this one is even more special, as it will help support a cause I firmly believe in.”

“John Force is one of the most legendary drag racers in history – and his legend started with Chevrolet,” said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. Vice-President of Performance and Motorsports. “We are proud to partner with him on this one-of-a-kind COPO Camaro and are excited to see what it will do on the auction block for charity.”

Chevrolet 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition

Additionally, a black-and-silver paint scheme inspired by the John Force Edition is an available option on 2020 COPO Camaros. In fact, there are more colour choices than ever for the 69 buyers. Along with the John Force colour scheme and 4 production colours (red has been the most popular so far), there are seven heritage colours from the 1969 Camaro colour palette: Hugger Orange, Butternut Yellow, Frost Green Poly, Olympic Gold Poly, Garnet Red, Fathom Green Poly and Azure Turquoise Poly.

Chevrolet 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition

The 2020 COPO Camaro’s available engine line-up includes a revised version of the supercharged, LSX-based 350 engine, featuring a 2.65-litre Magnuson supercharger and all-new LSX-SC cylinder heads, as well as an LSX-based naturally-aspirated 427 engine.

Also available is the Racer’s Package, which includes a carbonfibre air inlet, dual batteries, weight box, parachute and a quick-change coupling (with the supercharged engine).

Chevrolet 2020 COPO Camaro John Force Edition

While most of the COPO Camaros sold are in the USA, Chevrolet says there are units in Canada, Sweden and Germany too. Many are not just sitting still as collector’s items as the owners have won 36 NHRA events to date.

History of the COPO Camaro
While Chevrolet began building COPO Camaros from 2012, the history of this special version actually goes back to 1969 when dealers used Chevy’s special-order system that enabled them to create high-performance vehicles not available elsewhere. It was a sort of loophole to get around the limitations GM placed on Chevy’s performance vehicles.

1969 COPO Camaro
The 1969 COPO Camaro

Instead of placing an order for Camaros using the Regular Production Option sheet, dealers found they could order using the Central Office Purchase Order (which is what ‘COPO’ means) that was usually used for making changes to vehicles sold to municipalities such as special paint or truck equipment. The dealers instead used it to equip the Camaro with the all-aluminium ZL1 427 racing engine.

In 2011, Chevrolet created a COPO concept car and response was so positive from enthusiasts that the company was willing to produce limited numbers, choosing 69 which was the year the first COPO Camaros appeared. The plan was to offer the cars for a few years but demand remained high so production has continued to this day. However, unlike the early versions, the factory-built ones are not street legal. It is in fact the first purpose-built racing car offered by Chevrolet and the fastest Camaro to come out of the factory.PISTON.MY

The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is probably the most powerful drag focused muscle car you can buy. It has a monstrous 6.2-litre HEMI V8 that delivers 840bhp and 1044Nm of torque but shares only 38% of its parts with the less powerful Hellcat V8. It has a new crankshaft, pistons, connecting rods and supercharger.

Built at the Saltillo Engine Plant in Mexico, the Demon’s engine cylinder heads are machined on dedicated CNC machines to ensure perfect production. The engine block is deck plate honed to minimise bore distortions. And once completely assembled, the powerplant is dyno tested for 42 minutes under load up to 5,200rpm before it is approved for use.

Here are some facts about the engine:

– Forged alloy steel crankshaft with 90.9-millimeter stroke and revised balancing

– Induction-hardened crank bearing surfaces; individual journal optimized main bearing clearances

– Forged high-strength alloy pistons; 30-micron increased piston to bore clearance

– Powder forged connecting rods; upgraded shank and big end; revised ultra-high tensile fasteners

– Flow doubled on piston cooling oil jets

– Revised design valve springs

– 33 percent increase in oiling for valve springs and rocker tips – lubrication and cooling

– Single-groove collects on valve stems for improved stability

– Fuel injector pressure increased 27 percent

– Oil pan and windage tray optimized for high acceleration – tested up to 1.8g

The car is fitted with a TorqueFlite 8HP90 Eight-speed automatic transmission that is able to change gears in just 400 miliseconds. And the Demon’s drivertrain consists of a limited slip differential that that has a 20% thicker prop shaft than the Hellcat’s, made of high strength, low alloy steel tube and high strength steel stub shafts. The strengthened internals are able to cope with the mind blowing acceleration launch forces of up to 1.8 g.

Unlike some muscle cars, the hood scoop on the demon is functional and is the largest of its kind for a production car at 292 square centimeters. It is part of a high flow, low restriction intake system that helps deliver cool air into the supercharger – the air-flow is rated at 33 cubic meters per minute. A another feature worthy of mention is the SRT Power Chiller. It redirects air conditioning refrigerant from cabin to chiller unit, which reduces charge air temperature by -8 degrees Celsius.


During a 1/4 mile drag run, a Demon’s engine sucks in 4.9 cubic meters of air, which is the equivalent to the lung capacity of 816 humans combined. Putting that into perspective, in just 244 meters, the car sucks in as much volume of air as that found in its cabin – that’s a lot.

In order to keep the high performance engine cool, the Demon has a very efficient cooling system that is able to remove as much as 258kW of heat from the engine when running at the limit. That same amount of heat can boil nearly 950 ml of water in just 1.2 seconds.

A remarkable car by any standards, the Dodge SRT Demon is only available to purchase in North America for now. It’s an amazing technological achievement for drag racing, but for anything else, it falls well short of the mark.

Leading up to its big reveal at the upcoming New York International Motorshow, Dodge has released a series of teaser videos of its Challenger on steroids, the Challenger Demon performing a number of heroic feats. The latest of the series, called “Lock and Load” is one that demonstrates/advertises the automaker’s drag focused launch system.

In conventional cars, to get a perfect launch from a standstill, one would have to keep one foot firmly planted on the brake pedal while the other coerces the accelerator pedal to raise the engine rpm to the optimal level for launch. Well, with the Dodge Challenger Demon, most of the process is automated.

Named the TransBrake, this system enables the Demon to accelerate from standstill at the optimum level that both engine and transmission would allow. It is said to “deliver power delivery and higher engine launch torque potential by locking the output shaft of the automatic transmission to keep the vehicle stationary until launch”. Basically, its engineering jargon for preventing the vehicle from moving until the optimum engine speeds are achieved.

The automaker says that, over the conventional method, TransBrake provides improved (30 percent quicker) reactions times and more consistent launches. Once you’ve prepared for the launch, you only need to flick the steering wheel mounted paddle shifter to engage the launch and the Challenger Demon will start accelerating like a rocket.

When it is eventually unveiled next month, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon should still have a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 engine but the state of tune may differ from that of the original and more potent Hellcat. But for the rest of the specifications, we will have to wait until the actual reveal date to know for sure, till then, enjoy these videos:


Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on YouTube